Constitution

  1. This Organization shall be known as: “Northeast Ohio Fish Club” (NEO Fish), a non-profit organization.
  2. The objectives, of this organization are to encourage and promote the science of exotic freshwater fishes, , plants, etc.; to encourage and assist new hobbyists, to foster the interest of youth in the field and to encourage the breeding and displaying of aquatic life, .to advance affiliations between kindred organizations in the “United States and throughout the world; to acquire and disperse aquaria knowledge and literature, and to display the fact that ichthyology is, a serious, educational, and entertaining study and field.

ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP

  1. Membership in the Club shall be open to such persons as are interested in promoting our objectives, who having paid the prescribed dues, agree to be governed by these regulations and by-laws and any further amendments which may” in the future be properly adopted and approved.
  2. All who have made application for membership at, or before the meeting at which this Constitution and By-Laws are adopted, shall be “Charter Members”.
  3. Only those members whose dues are fully paid up or remitted shall be considered in good standing and be entitled to vote or hold office.
  4. Membership is a privilege, not a right; all members are to treat fellow members, speakers, visitors with respect while promoting the club.

ARTICLE III – ORGANIZATION

  1. This Club shall have the following four officers:
    1. President
    2. Vice President
    3. Treasurer
    4. Secretary

In addition, the board will have the follow committee chairmen

    1. Membership Chairman
    2. Website/Social Media Committee Chairman
    3. Editor Committee Chairman
  1. The Board of Directors shall consist of 7 members. These members shall be the four officers and three committee chairmen, which shall-manage and direct the affairs of the Club. All members of the Board of Directors shall be elected by the general membership. The President will only vote when there is a tie among the other voting Board of Directors.
  2. The above named board members shall have duties as are customary to their respective offices and may be assigned in the Constitution and, By-Laws.
  3. In the case of an open position, the Board can appoint a replacement for the rest of the term after it has been announced at one meeting.
  4. Board members shall be elected for a term of one year or until their successors are elected and installed, as stated in the By-Laws, section III
  5. The club can elect one alternate board member from each of the three representative committees (Editor Committee Chairman, Web Committee Chairman, and Membership Chairman) to fill in the absence of the Chairman at any of the board meetings.  They can sit in a board meeting with voting rights only when they are replacing an elected committee board member.
  6. Board members shall keep an accurate record of their acts and proceedings and report to the Club at the Annual Business Meeting, or on demand.
  7. In case of absence and/or resignation, the order of succession’ to the Presidency shall follow the order listed under Article III, Section 1.
  8. Passage of business requires approval by five members of the Board of Directors, one of which shall be an officer of the Club (President, Vice President, Secretary, or Treasurer).

ARTICLE IV – MEETINGS

  1. The Club shall hold general monthly meetings at such time and place as shall be arranged by the President. General meetings shall be open to the public.
  2. The Annual Business Meeting will be held the last month of the fiscal year (Jan 1 – Dec 31).
  3. The election of officers for the following year shall be held at the Annual Business Meeting.
  4. The Board shall have regular monthly business meetings which are open to members in good standing.
  5. Five members of the Board shall constitute a Quorum for the transaction of business, one of which shall be an officer of the Club.
  6. All regular and business meetings shall be announced to the general membership and published in the newsletter.

ARTICLE V – OFFICERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  1. PRESIDENT
    1. Organize and preside at all general meetings.
    2. Preside at the Board of Directors (BOD) meetings.
    3. Votes only in the case of a tie at the BOD meetings.
    4. Appoint and dissolve all committee chairpersons, fill any vacancies and report any changes to the Board of Directors.
    5. The President shall have the authority to fill any vacancies which may occur in the Board of Directors until the next annual election with Board of Directors approval.
    6. All committee chairpersons shall be appointed by the President by the first’ board meeting of his/her term of office except for the 3 voted in by the general membership (Membership Chairman, Website/Social Media Committee Chairman, and Editor Committee Chairman).
    7. Implement the decisions and policies of the Board of Directors in accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws.
    8. Board will make the decision to nominate or to vote whether to replace a vacancy
    9. The President shall notify the Vice President of his/her absence from any general meeting or board meeting.
    10. Conduct Monthly business meetings for the general membership and conduct an annual business meeting for the purpose of election of officers and recognition of annual award winners.
    11. Secure the meeting place for the general meetings for his/her term of office with Board of Directors approval.
    12. In case of an emergency of the Club, the President shall call all available Board of Director members to arrive at a majority opinion as to a course of action that should be taken.
    13. Conduct Monthly business meetings for the general membership and conduct an annual business meeting for the purpose of election of officers and recognition of annual award winners.
    14. Appoint annual Audit Committee as stated in By-Laws, Section IV, 6
    15. Act as official spokesperson for NEO Fish
  1. VICE-PRESIDENT
    1. Fill all responsibilities of the office of President in the absence of the President.
    2. Chair .the Nominating Committee for the purpose of election of officers and Board of Directors. This Committee is to convene three months prior to the annual business meeting.
    3. Chair the Audit committee for the quarterly audits of the Treasurer’s books. This committee will consist of two other members approved by the President.
    4. Chair the annual audit of the Treasurer’s books as stated in the By-Laws, section IV,6
    5. Oversee the committees that are not represented on the BOD.
  1. TREASURER
    1. Maintain an accurate and adequate of all ‘receipts and expenditures
    2. Receive and disclose all Club funds and monies in accordance with the Constitution, By-Laws and Board of’ Directors
    3. Prepare and maintain complete and accurate records of all Club owned possessions.
    4. Automatic member of the Auction Committee
    5. A checking account shall be kept for the purpose of all club expenditures.
    6. A savings account maybe kept for the purpose of funding the annual show.
    7. Render-monthly statements of all accounts at each regular board meeting.
    8. Submit financial statements required by the state of Ohio and Internal Revenue Service
    9. At the request of the President, the Treasurer shall present a current financial report at the general meeting.
    10. Purchase a $1M liability insurance policy to cover the club when the club is financially able to do so..
  1. SECRETARY
    1. Take minutes of the monthly Board Meetings and provide a summary report of the general meeting.
    2. Correspond with such official letters as may from time to time be required by the Board.
    3. Maintain an annual record of minutes and correspondence and turn all records over at the end of the term of office to the successor.
    4. All minutes shall be made available at the general meetings as stated in Article III Section 6.
    5. Ensure pick-Up of mail at the _____ post office box and arrange for proper distribution prior to each Board of Directors meeting if needed.
  1. MEMBERSHIP, WEBSITE/SOCIAL MEDIA, and EDITOR CHAIRMEN
    1. Chair their respective committee and report activities to the Board
    2. Hold at minimum of quarterly meetings with their respective committee members.

ARTICLE VI

The Club shall have the following Standing Committees:

  1. MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
    1. Recruit new members and institute membership drives or other means approved by the Board of Directors.
    2. Maintain a complete and accurate membership list and mailing list for distribution to committees, as required.
    3. Supply the editor with lists of new members; monthly guests (guest are to receive the newsletter for two months) and non-renewals.
    4. Collect dues and submit proceeds to the Treasurer.
    5. Maintain an attendance list at each monthly meeting
    6. Members missing three consecutive meeting would receive a call from a committee member to inquire if they have any issues with the club.
    7. Enter member’s areas of interest in the club’s database.
    8. Use the interest database to make initial introduction of new members or visitors to the appropriate Fish Group (see Fish Groups below).
    9. Obtain monthly membership door prize for the general meeting as approved by the BOD.
    10. Send to the Editor electronically (email) a monthly column report of new members, renewals, past dues (3 months cancels memberships) and name of membership door prize donor.
    11. The application form must be approved by the Board of Directors.
    12. Maintain adequate supplies of application forms for club events and the Advertising Chairperson.
    13. Report expired memberships to Website/Social Media committee for removal of member website if applicable.
  1. PROGRAM COMMITTEE
    1. Arrange for an aquatic related presentation at each general meeting.
    2. Work with Fish Groups to schedule talks given by members.
    3. Work with members to prepare talks and improve their presentation skills.
    4. Provide a calendar of confirmed programs quarterly to the Editor for publication in the newsletter.
    5. Introduce the speaker(s) and program and announce future scheduled programs at the general meeting.
    6. Provide a Certificate of Appreciation and/or gift ($25 and free membership) for each speaker.
  1. WEBSITE/SOCIAL MEDIA COMMITTEE
    1. Maintain the club’s Website and facilitate member’s websites.
    2. Maintain, monitor and interact with the club’s forum.
    3. Collect website fees from members that have a website through the club and submit them to the Treasurer for deposit.
    4. Promote a positive image of the club at all times.
    5. Contact media to promote attendance to all club functions.
    6. Compile and communicate all club news releases.
    7. Interact with Members and non-members on Facebook and other social networks, promoting a positive image of the club.
    8. Furnish the local newspapers with the date, time, location, speaker and topic for all meetings and club events.
  1. FISH SHOW COMMITTEE
    1. Annually starting in 2014, the Show committee will present a show proposal outlining costs and class structure.
    2. The committee shall be chaired by a Show Chairperson and CO-Chairperson and shall be represented at every Board of Directors meeting prior to the annual show.
    3. At the discretion of the Board a show maybe scheduled annually.
    4. The show date, place, classes, rules and financial estimate shall be determined by the committee and submitted to the Board of Directors for approval.
    5. The committee shall administrate the show.
    6. Auction proceeds, a list of sellers and payment shall be submitted to the Treasurer within two days following the show auction.
    7. All other proceeds and complete financial statements shall be submitted to the Treasurer within seven days.
    8. The Committee shall be ultimately responsible for financial integrity and presenting the show within budgets approved by the. Board of Directors. Monthly progress reports shall be presented at each Board of Directors meeting.
    9. All decisions made by the Chairperson and Co-Chairperson during the course of this event shall be final.
    10. The committee shall design fliers, acquire supplies, and all other show items.
    11. Show results shall be to the Editor and any other show sanctioned sponsor within the ‘required time limits
    12. Certificates of Appreciation and donation receipts shall be distributed within thirty days-following the show.
  1. LIBRARY COMMITTEE
    1. Maintain the contents of the library and make it available to current members at the general meetings.
    2. Ensure that the library rules are followed and that abuse of books or rules by borrower shall be reported to the Board of Directors.
    3. Library rules shall be attached to books and periodicals, as required.
    4. Maintain an ‘ongoing membership “Want List”
  1. EDITOR COMMITTEE
    1. Publish or cause to be published, a monthly electronic newsletter to be distributed per the membership list prior to the general meeting.
    2. Publish all committee reports and furnish a variety of aquatic related articles throughout the year.
    3. Maintain a complete file of all published newsletters and articles submitted for publication.
    4. An announcement of all regular and monthly business meetings shall be published in the monthly newsletter:”
    5. Encourage members to write articles and take photographs for publishing in the bulletin.
    6. Decide what articles are to be published either from the membership and/or exchange articles from other clubs.
    7. Visit members’ homes and write articles about their aquariums.
    8. Recruit members with photography skills, monthly supplying digital photographs to be published in the bulletin.
    9. Maintain an accurate and adequate record of all advertisers
    10. Maintain and update all advertisers’ business cards.
    11. Prepare and present advertising page(s) to the editor in a timely manner for the purpose of publishing in the newsletter.
    12. Collect and submit all proceeds to the treasurer.
    13. Chair a liaison committee which will provide personal contact with businesses for advertising, donations and raffle prizes for all club events and to maintain good public relations with business supporters.
  1. REFRESHMENT COMMITTEE
    1. Responsible for providing refreshments at each general meeting, auction, show and special event.
    2. Accountable for all club-owned kitchen equipment.
    3. Insure clean-up following general meeting, auction, show and special event.
    4. Provide treasurer with account of money donated.
  1. BOWL SHOW COMMITTEE
    1. Set classes quarterly and publish in the newsletter.
    2. Selection of judge(s) each month.
    3. Assemble award certificates and maintain supplies.
    4. Maintain accurate records, update standings and publish in the newsletter.
    5. Turn all proceeds in to the Treasurer.
    6. Ensure that the bowl show rules are followed including entry disqualification, if necessary
  1. AUCTION COMMITTEE
    1. Committee shall be chaired by an Auction Chairperson and Co-Chairperson •
    2. Treasurer is an automatic member of this committee.
    3. A minimum of one auction per year shall be scheduled.
    4. The auction date, place/ rules and cost estimate shall be determined by the committee and submitted to the Board of Directors for approval.
    5. The committee shall administrate the auction.
    6. Auction proceeds, financial statement” list of sellers and payment shall be submitted to the Treasurer within two days, following the auction.
    7. The committee shall design fliers, acquire supplies and the auctioneer(s).
    8. Certificates of Appreciation and/or gifts shall be provided for the auctioneer(s)
  1. EXCHANGE COMMITTEE
    1. Read monthly exchange newsletters.
    2. Supply monthly review of articles to Editor for newsletter publication.
    3. Supply the Editor with list of upcoming events for announcement in the newsletter.
    4. Make available to Library.
  1. BREEDER’S AWARD PROGRAM
    1. Chairperson administers the Breeder’s Award and Specialty Programs as provided in the By-Laws and approved by the Board of Directors.
    2. Maintain accurate records and update the files on all B.A.P. recorded spawns.
    3. Assemble the award certificates and plaques and maintain supplies.
    4. Submit an article containing updated standings to the Editor for monthly publication in the newsletter.
    5. Accountable for the general meeting auction, distribution of auction funds to auction sellers and furnish a financial statement along with proceeds to the Treasurer.
  1. NOMINATION COMMITTEE
    1. The committee shall be chaired by the board member and shall consist of three members as follows:
      1. One member from the officers.
      2. One member from the Board of Directors. .
      3. One member from the general membership.
    1. The committee shall convene prior to the annual business meeting.
    2. An attempt to solicit at least two candidates for each office and board position shall be made by the committee.
    3. Nominations shall be accepted from the floor at the general meeting one month prior or at the annual business meeting.
    4. Nominees shall be published in the two newsletters prior to the annual business meeting. The newsletter prior to the annual business meeting shall list all current candidates.
    5. For the first election, nominees will self-nominate by sending an email to Brian Shrimpton (brianshr@wideopenwest.com).  In the email they will state what position or positions they would like to hold, short bio about themselves to inform the club who they are, and what they hope to accomplish during their term.  Those not in attendance at the April 19th meeting but would like to serve on the board are also welcome to submit their name.  The deadline for this email to be sent to Brian Shrimpton is May 5th (firm).  Brian will send out an email to the nominee that their email has been received.  Nominees that do not receive this email reply should contact Brian by phone (440-503-9000) to inquire.  Brian will send out a compiled list of nominations to those attendees of the April 19 meeting that supplied the club with an email address (or any other interested party that supplies their email address to the club (Brian) before this date) by May 10th..  If there are still positions without a self-nomination, nominations will be taken from the floor during the May 17th meeting.
  1. RAFFLE COMMITTEE
    1. Provide raffle items and administrate the .raffle at each general meeting, show, auction and special events.
    2. Accountable for all club owned raffle equipment.
    3. Ensure raffle clean-up at all general meetings, show, auction and special events.
    4. Accountable for all proceeds and for providing the treasurer with receipts for all items purchased financial statement and monies.
    5. Submit list acknowledging all .raffle items to editor for monthly publication in newsletter.
  1. FISH GROUPS
    1. A fish group is a number of members that have the same interests in a group of fish.  For example members that keep and breed bettas would be a group.  Members that keep and breed African Cichlids could be another group.
    2. These groups would be designated by the survey taken by members and visitors.
    3. Each Group would designate a number of members that would be contacts for new member/visitor introduction.  These members would need to be receptive to beginners with a helpful attitude.
    4. New members and visitors would be introduced to these groups when they come to their first monthly meeting by a member of the Membership committee.
    5. Groups would work to put together talks to be presented at the club’s monthly meetings (Speakers).
    6. Club Speakers might be asked by other fish clubs to give a talk.  Other then travel expenses, the desire would be to have the hosting club reciprocate by sending a Speaker to our club.

ARTICLE VII – DUES

  1. All members ‘shall be required to pay dues as stated in the By-Laws, section IV 1.
  2. The Board is empowered to remit all or part of the dues of any member unable to pay.

ARTICLE VIII – AMENDMENT

  1. To amender repeal this Constitution or any part of it, it shall be necessary that the proposed amendment be presented in writing signed by at least five members in good standing to the officers and the Board of Directors.
  2. Following approval by two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Directors, the proposed amendment shall be read at the next general meeting, published in the newsletter, and voted on at the next following general meeting.
  3. The affirmative vote of a majority of present members in good standing shall be required for the adoption of an amendment to this Constitution.

ARTICLE IX – REMOVAL OF A BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEMBER OR OFFICER

  1. Any member of the Board of Directors who is absent from three consecutive board meetings without good reason, shall upon request of the President from a member in good standing and approval by the Board, be relieved of his or her position.
  2. A written petition of charges by 10% of the current members in good standing may be presented to the Board of Directors for action. A two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Directors is necessary to effect removal of the officer or Board Member concerned. The decision of the Board of Directors may be appealed to the general membership by submitting a written petition signed by 25% of the current membership in good standing. Rules of the appeal shall be as follows:
  3. Five minutes will be allowed for presentation of charges.
  4. Five minutes ‘will be allowed for rebuttal followed by an appeal decision by the membership.

ARTICLE X – MEMBER NOT IN GOOD STANDING

  1. A member can be declared Not In Good Standing if they do the following:
  2. Not paying their dues within 3 months of expiration.
  3. Talking negatively of the club in the general meeting.  The appropriate way to voice a concern is by bringing it to the board.
  4. Treating other members, visitors, speakers, hosts without dignity and respect.
  5. Posting of inflammatory, derogatory items on the Internet about the club (Facebook, Forum, etc.) is grounds for being declared “Not In Good Standing”
  6. Members not in good standing will be presented the charges in a closed board meeting for five minutes.
  7. Member will be allowed five minutes for rebuttal.
  8. If the Member is removed they can appeal the suspension within 90 days.
  9. Any member removed will have their remaining membership prorated and reimbursed the remainder within 30 days of the suspension.

ARTICLE X ­ DISSOLUTION

  1. In, the∙ event that the Club shall be dissolved, all equipment, supplies and monies shall be donated to a charitable or educational institution in Northeast Ohio.
  2. The affirmative vote of, a majority of/the Board of Directors shall determine the recipient(s) of all club assets.